Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story…” Sometimes it’s difficult to tell our stories. Sometimes we don’t know how to put it into words. Perhaps we’re afraid other people won’t understand or may judge us. Yet ultimately, telling our stories is telling about who God is and how He is at work in our lives. And that is powerful. It’s encouraging for us to remember as we share, and it’s encouraging for others to hear.
I’m very grateful that my new book was released this month! Crazy, Hard, Beautiful Journey is a book of stories from my life – stories that tell about who God is and what He has done. It was a very long, difficult process to write this book, but it was also healing and encouraging for me. I pray it will be a blessing and encouragement to many people, especially those going through difficult circumstances
(If you know someone who might need this book of encouraging stories, it’s available on amazon, and it’s in kindle unlimited.)
Here is one chapter from the book. I hope it encourages you today.
Excerpt from Crazy, Hard, Beautiful, Journey – Stories of God’s Unfailing Grace, Goodness, and Divine Purpose
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer….” –1 Peter 3:12
The new year didn’t start well for me. I was very sick for the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January. It did give me a lot of time to reflect and pray, which was good. I had planned a trip to Texas for a conference, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it. Thankfully by the middle of January I was up to traveling again, so I kept my plans and went.
I ended up having another amazing trip to Texas! God not only provided for every detail along the way, He also gave me some special and unexpected blessings.
During the ten days I was there, I felt a growing sense that I was supposed to move to Texas. Even though I’d been somewhat “homeless” and moved around for much of 2016, the idea of officially moving to Texas felt like a huge step for me.
When I got back to Florida, I kept praying about it. I told God I needed three big things if I was going to move. I needed a part-time job in Texas. I needed a place to stay. And I needed a vehicle.
Would you believe that in less than three weeks God had provided all three?
First, I shared my thoughts about moving with my mom and asked for her prayers. A couple of days later she said she’d been praying about it, and she wanted me to use her minivan as long as I needed it!
Second, a friend from Texas came to Florida in February for a conference, and I was able to visit with her. As we were talking, I said something like, “I think you need to hire me to help you. What do you think?” The next day she hired me, and I started working that week!
Third, two different friends called and offered me temporary housing in Texas! I ended up choosing the place closer to my job, which worked out great.
By early March I was packing and preparing to move my life to another state.
I was in awe of how God had done the three miracles I asked Him for so quickly and easily! It reminded me that He is God after all! He can do anything. Nothing is too hard for Him. Nothing is too small or too big for Him to do.
Sometimes it may seem like certain things are too hard for God…but that’s actually because He is choosing not to do them. I’ve seen Him do too many miracles to ever question His power or ability. At times, though, I question His wisdom or His heart. If He can do anything, why doesn’t He do the things I keep asking for?
Why doesn’t He ease suffering when we’ve prayed for years?
Why doesn’t He provide what seems so desperately needed?
Why doesn’t He fulfill the dream that’s been waiting so long?
If I could answer all of these questions easily, then God probably wouldn’t be God. The fact that we can’t understand all His ways reminds us that He is greater than we are. He sees everything, while we only see a small portion. He is working for the good of all, not just for our ease or comfort in the moment.
There is, and always will be while we’re on this earth, an element of mystery to God. We know He can do anything and everything with ease. We also know at times He chooses not to do the things we ask.
I often wish God would answer my prayers the way He did in this situation. I wish every prayer was answered with a quick miracle, provision, and open door. In reality, I can’t imagine how different my life would be if God always did that – or more importantly, how different my relationship with Him would be. If He always gave a quick, easy answer to my prayers, would I have the same trust in Him? Would I have the same intimacy and fellowship with Him? I don’t think so.
I think we need both experiences in our lives and our relationship with God – the quick, miraculous answers to prayer, and the waiting, wondering, praying-by-faith seasons. The miracles remind us how awesome and able God is. The waiting and wondering reminds us how wise, patient, and present He is.
No matter what we need or how God answers our prayers, the eternal truth is that He is trustworthy. However He chooses to work in our lives, He is good. He is perfect in wisdom. He loves us! And He is working out His mysterious and perfect purposes for us and for His glory.
“The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.” –Psalm 145:13b
For Reflection –
How has your relationship with God deepened from both His miraculous answers to prayer and seasons of waiting on Him?
What helps you to remember and believe that God is always trustworthy?